Saturday, March 10, 2007

“When it’s too fast to see, and too important not to”

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New JerseyLynne Robinson, Hewitt, New JerseyLynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey
I probably should let Rick write this entry since it’s his job, but I’ll take a stab at it and see how I do. Rick is the Director of Marketing for a family-run company called Vision Research. While most people aren’t familiar with the company name, the product they make is becoming extremely well-known, the Phantom Camera: a line of high-speed digital cameras. What’s this, you might ask? What’s so new about digital cameras? No ordinary cameras here, just cutting edge technology. Their market is not for your average consumer [unless you want to plunk down $15,000-$125,000 or so]. High-speeds allow the action to slow way, way down to allow the viewer to see what is really taking place in that brief few seconds or so. Think use in crash safety testing for automobiles, military use such as seeing how missiles engage, any kind of slow motion that you see on TV commercials and in movies. Did you all watch the SuperBowl this year? Some of the slow motion playbacks were shot with a Phantom camera. Now I think you’re getting the picture [no pun intended].

Here is an example of a Hyundai commercial where their cameras were used in the Fluid Metal Ad. Once there you will need to click to download the ad. There is also a “making of” clip which is very interesting.

Rick brought home a camera this summer to learn how to use it. He made a few clips around our house. One of a kernel of popcorn popping; the other of our dog Sailor drinking. Of course, here we are with this $80,000 camera on a tripod around seven bouncing dogs and I had visions of bankruptcy flashing through my head, but all went well.

These movies are in Quicktime format and you’ll need to allow a little time for them to download.

First popcorn movie
This one ends up a little out of focus, but pops very fast and I love the droplets of hot oil flying through the air.

Second popcorn movie
This one has better focus and the kernel of popcorn stays in the frame! Which is pretty amazing. Notice the swirl of steam toward the end of the shot.

Dog Day Afternoon
Did you know dogs turned their tongues backwards while drinking?

———NOTE: For those of you techies out there here is the info on the popcorn movies: Both shots were made with a Vision Research Phantom v7.1 color high-speed digital camera. I used a Nikon 105mm AF Micro Nikkon lens. Both were shot at 3000 pictures-per-second with a per-picture exposure time of 50 microseconds. The popcorn was lit with two Northstar 250W lights. The first picture was shot an at aperature setting of 5.6 the second at 8 for a slightly greater depth-of-field. Both images are 512 X 512 pixels.———

If you haven’t seen enough slow motion, you can go to Vision Research’s website and go into their gallery. Some of these are absolutely amazing, and you will get a better feel for the different applications for this cool camera.

So, Rick has great job that he loves. What’s not to love? It’s a great place to work and the Jantzens are wonderful people. When I went to New Orleans last month it was because once a year during their annual Sales Meeting wives are invited to come along; all expenses paid.

This year when Rick heads out to Las Vegas, Nevada in April for the big NAB [National Association of Broadcasters] trade show, I’ll be joining him. It should be fun as I’ve never been to Vegas before. We are staying at the Excalibur. What do you think, should Rick and I take our medieval garb and join in?


Welcome, I'm Lynne. You know me better as a 'new' Jersey Girl. But now I've moved once again, this time to North Carolina. Here I write about my thoughts, good food, and of course, dogs.

© 2006-2022 Lynne Robinson All photography and text on this blog is copyright. For use or reproduction please ask me first.

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